When Your Ex Starts Dating Again
By Frank Kermit
Break ups can be hard. Even the most amicable ending to a relationship, can still be an unpleasant experience.
At that point, the issue is not trying to avoid the negative feelings, as much as, trying to manage those feelings, until such a time as you can reach a point of peace, perhaps even forgiveness of yourself and your ex partner, where you can accept the existence of your ex without cringing.
With all that said, I do find a particular aspect comes up in my practice that is a sore spot for some people after a break up and that is the moment when your ex starts dating again.
When you break up with someone, you are, knowingly or not, declaring that the now ex-partner is free to date anyone and everyone other than you.
After all, if you are ending the relationship, you are setting yourself, and the other person, free to find better-suited partners.
On some level most people understand this consciously. However, the reality of the emotional impact of a break up may only fully set in, when you discover your ex is dating someone new.
That impact can be even more devastating, when it is revealed that your ex, is actually now dating someone you know. Incidentally it happens a lot more that people anticipate.
After all, after a break up and available to date someone new, most people find it easier to explore all the contacts they already have (including your mutual social circles) than to deal with the headaches associated with putting oneself out there to meet a totally new group of individuals to get to know and date.
Yes, your friends, your friend's friends, your neighbors, and sometimes even your work relations or even family members tend to be your ex's new immediate lovers (at least from a statistically point of view).
At times, people break up with their partners with the mindset of "I-am-breaking-up-with-you-to-teach-you-a-lesson-but-will-get-back-together-after-I-scare-you-with-it".
This little game destroys more than it ever creates through a number of factors including the fact that it creates the opportunity for someone else to make a move on your partner that has just been waiting for the right moment.
All head games cause cracks in the original foundation of your relationship; cracks that will bring about the actual real break up.
Never play head games.
One of the most important principles in the ethics of dating is that no person should interfere in any meaningful way the opportunity for any one person to find, meet and date a potential soul mate.
If you made the decision to end a relationship and your ex hooks a new partner who comes in the form of someone you know, be mindful that instead of feeling betrayed, practice being happy for them.
Your ex and that other person you know are not cheating on you.
There is no cheating because you ended the relationship.
There is no infidelity and no wrong doing here.
You do not own your ex, and you do not own the person you know.
If they start dating after you officially ended things, it means they are following up on the same personal right that you have; the right to find someone new to date when they are both emotionally available.
If you turn your partner into your ex, and that ex starts dating someone you know, it does not mean your ex never loved you.
It does not mean your friend wasn't your friend.
It does not mean you are easy to get over. It does not mean you are a loser.
It does not mean you were set up. It does not mean anyone lied to you.
It does not mean you were betrayed.
It does not mean you weren't loved.
All it means is that someone that you rejected has done the right thing: moved on to explore an interest in someone else that wants to be with him or her.
Should an ex inform you of who they are dating next, if that person happens to be someone you know? Should that friend tell you?
The answer is no one is obligated to tell you anything about his or her private love life. Not your ex, and not anyone dating your ex.
Breaking up with someone is equal to telling your ex that his or her love life, is no longer any of your business.
Think about that next time you want to break up with someone, and be sure that you are certain that you are ready for the consequences of a break up.
FRANK KERMIT MA
EXPERT RELATIONSHIP COACH
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